Major vulnerability leaves half a billion cell phones at risk of - Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Major vulnerability leaves half a billion cell phones at risk of hackers


Hackers are moving from your computer to your phone.

A United Nations cybersecurity group is warning that major vulnerabilities in cell phone technology could lead to an attack on half a billion phones.

The new threat could target your SIM card, the tiny device that carries important user data, from your phone number to banking information. Meaning, hackers could potentially take remote control of your phone and everything stored on it.

It's important information that many people are now storing on their phones rather than on their computers.

"Cell phones are actually being used more now than computers, tablets and cell phones," said Caleb Click, a Repair Technician at Cell Tech in Quincy. "A lot of people are ditching your computers."

Click says he's seen cases where hackers copy a SIM card, gaining remote control of a phone.

"If they can copy a SIM card they just use it to call other countries," Click said. "Basically, they use your phone to make all the calls that they want without having to pay for it."

It leaves the victim with a pricey bill.

"I've seen it $1,000-2,000 worth of cell phone calls."

While some are now left as victims of this, others say they've already been taking precautions.

"I think it'd be very easy for people to access that, especially people that are known to be hackers," Ashley Zoller said.

With technology changing constantly, Zoller says people need to be aware of what they're doing and what they're storing on their cell phone.

"I try to delete as much information as possible, as far as my calling information and my text messaging information," Zoller said.

All types of phones are vulnerable, including iPhones, phones that run Android software and BlackBerry smartphones.

The security researcher who found the SIM flaws says at least two major carriers are already working on a fix, but as of right now, there's not much you can do.

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